As the pandemic continued, many parents who were tired of monitoring their children’s online lessons were anxious to reopen school.
Later, vaccines spread, schools were reopened in many cities, teachers returned, but many students did not recover. Weeks have passed; safety protocols have become routine. President Joe Biden’s administration urged direct attendance. Still, millions of students remain remote and parents are worried about the virus, not to mention bullying, racism, improper behavior and childcare.
As autumn approaches, many schools are ending their virtual programs and trying to bring their children back into the classroom five days a week. New York City, the largest school district in the United States, Removed remote options For next year.The Governor of New Jersey has announced that the school needs to be fully opened in the fall Without distance learningIllinois public schools must do the same For almost all students, The State Board of Education voted last month.
South Carolina has passed legislation requiring public schools Providing full-time instruction This autumn. Five days later, the Senate revised the budget and cut the state budget from the next constituency. Over 5% of students participate in virtual programs This autumn.
Many education professionals say that face-to-face instruction is the best way to support a quick response. Recovery of academic ability of those who are lateHowever, the order addresses the educational style that many families, especially parents of color, say they work for them, and deal with emotional and social problems after the second grade that was interrupted. You may deny the choice to continue.
The problem is achievement. While some students grew up with the flexibility to study at home, many others failed to log on or graded after most school districts across the country started their school year remotely last fall. Soared.
Signs to watch out for: Students are lagging behind in online school. The reason is as follows.
Racial disparities in where and how children are learning this spring were severe. In March, more than half of black and Latin 8th graders across the country were fully enrolled in remote programs. In contrast, 24% of white 8th graders. Latest government data Performance.
“There is no substitute for face-to-face learning,” said Ian Rosenbram, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education, this month. He was talking about how schools would spend a record $ 122 billion on additional federal COVID-19 recovery funding. A state plan on how state schools spend their money will be submitted to the department on Monday.
The state is allowed to spend money on virtual school education if the school believes it is the best way to help the recovery of certain children. And some schools do so, such as schools in Miami and Des Moines, Iowa.
But the main purpose is to get the students back into the classroom. And some black parents and advocates feel that their desires have been drowned out of the debate.
“I’m worried that parents may send children back to school that they don’t want to go to school,” said co-founder Rakisha Young. CEO Oakland REACH, A non-profit organization that works with black families on educational issues in Oakland, California.
“We don’t care if they choose to keep their kids home. The data show they’re failing,” he said to the black and brown families. You will inadvertently do more damage, but under what circumstances? “
Are you measuring the right one?
This question goes to the heart of a new study conducted by RAND Corporation, a non-profit research institute, on teachers and principals in the United States.
According to the survey results, virtual students have fewer English, math, and science classes and less teaching materials this year than students in schools that are mostly run face-to-face.
And because one in three principals of most remote schools reported that they had changed their scoring policy, more students’ F grades would instead be recorded as “incomplete.”
But that doesn’t tell us everything, said Julia Kaufman, who led RAND’s research.
“Students who attended schools that were mostly run remotely were children who were likely to be behind in their academic achievements in virtual learning,” Kaufman said.
Many urban areas with many low-income colored students reopened later than small, wealthy schools with many white middle-income students.
“On average, students in most remote schools were likely to have been at a disadvantage in the past,” Kaufman said. “It’s hard to interpret the bad results of distance learning, or to say that distance learning itself is bad.”
Most schools, face-to-face or virtual, are not designed to support students of color, said Kimberly Smith, executive director of the League of Innovative Schools, a nonprofit educational innovation activity. Stated. Digital promise..
She also said that students of color can build confidence in studying at home, be free from prejudice, racism and bullying in class, and increase their interest in personal projects. He added that he may have achieved excellent results online in ways that cannot be captured by the achievement methods.
Upon returning to Oakland REACH, Rakisha Young said she wanted to see the district discuss with her family what she liked about distance learning, what worked or didn’t work this year. That way, district leaders can improve their experience.
Parents’ Guide to Virtual School: 9 Questions to Scrutinize New Semester Choices
Recently in Massachusetts Survey on the use of federal reconstruction funds We found that 70% of parents want their children to learn directly this fall. However, only 54% of black parents wanted full face-to-face learning. Another 29% preferred hybrid learning and 12% preferred staying remotely.
“Parents of color have consistently been less enthusiastic about face-to-face schools,” said President Steve Koczela. MassINC polling group, A bipartisan polling company that conducted the survey.
How some schools are improving virtual learning
Some school districts have promised to keep virtual options next year. We are making changes to this so that more students can succeed.
The Miami-Dade County Public School was one of the first large school districts to reopen classrooms this fall. That’s exactly because the leaders discovered a significant decline in academic achievement during virtual learning, “said Alberto Carvalho, Mayor of the school district.
Teachers, principals, and even Carvalho himself intervened to persuade parents to return to class because the grades of about 10,000 students were sluggish. But the year is still over, with about half of Miami-Dade’s more than 350,000 students studying remotely.
According to Carvalho, most families are low-income and worried about safety and medical costs if someone in the family gets sick.
As many parents want to continue their virtual learning this fall, Miami-Dade leaders have decided to maintain this year’s virtual program and create a new program with enhanced guardrails and supervision. Miami-Dade Online and Miami-Dade Virtual Academy will be independent schools with their own staff. However, online students have less live lessons and more independence. Virtual Academy students, on the other hand, will spend most of their day’s lessons online with live teachers.
“Learning slides are important here and across the country,” said Carvalho. “But now, a year and a half after parents can sit in the front row and see what they’re doing at school or online, they can’t always take away their options.”
Des Moines Public School in Iowa has approximately 32,000 students and is expanding its online school to junior high school students this fall. Before the pandemic, it was an option only for high school students. The district will use the federal COVID-19 relief fund to pay for the expansion.
In Rowan County, North Carolina, Rowan Salisbury’s school system, which has approximately 18,000 students, launched a virtual academy for elementary and junior high school students last summer. That’s what the school district has been considering for years, but COVID-19 has “furious” the project, said Tina Mashburn, deputy director of professional and virtual learning.
New enrollment in the district last August Summit K-8 Virtual Academy Shot up to 3,000 students. The school district will continue its virtual school with over 700 students enrolled this fall. Most students have returned to the school where the physical store is located.
Starting in the fall of 2022, students who want to stay in the virtual option will need to show a minimum grade and consistent attendance, Mashburn said.
Most school districts are trying to discontinue many of the hybrid models adopted this year. Students studied at school one day and at home on another day.
From Rowan Salisbury to Miami-Dade and beyond, teachers teach students online and in class at the same time. Most school districts have dedicated virtual teachers for virtual programs. Teachers who return to the regular classroom are only responsible for face-to-face students.
“I work as an adjunct professor, but I haven’t been able to do that at the same time,” Mashburn said.
This article was originally published in USA TODAY. Is the online school over after COVID?These states hold virtual options